Newman University introduced its new personalized student success program, Navigator, in the fall of 2020. The program was built on top of current efforts to guide students through the higher education process.
The Navigator program has many facets that center on the student experience, providing leadership training, real-world career exposure and mentorship.
One aspect of mentorship will be in the form of partnerships between Newman University students and alumni.
The Navigator’s alumni mentorship program will pair career professionals from the Newman alumni community with a student attending the university.
Audrey Hane, director of the Navigator program, said this mentorship will add another layer of support and assistance to what staff and faculty currently provide, giving students a full-circle support program.
“The alumni will provide that professional resource within the student’s desired career path or industry,” said Hane. “The possibilities are abounding. The mentors can guide the students through the steps they need to take both academically and co-curricularly to prepare them for their future.”
Benefits to the students include networking opportunities, professional society connections — both local and regional — professional goal-setting and shadowing experiences with hands-on learning.
“It’s a link, a window, to the professional world, helping the students to prepare for and make that transition,” Hane added.
Recruiting has already started and Hane said she’d like to see mentoring begin as early as fall 2021. However, she added, piloting the program during the spring semester is not out of the question since some alumni have already shown interest.
Marcello Casenove ‘13, president of the Newman University National Alumni Association Board, said mentoring is both essential for and desired by the student population.
He is excited to step up as a mentor in the program and is most looking forward to helping the students achieve success by seeing a different perspective through the mentorship. He hopes the program will help students make decisions about how they want to make a difference in the workforce, whether that role be leader, contributor or innovator.
“The interexchange of information that can be done from people that have been on the road already and the next generation going in is extremely important,” said Casenove. “The Navigator program is the right setting to connect the student with people who are willing and able to interexchange ideas, habits, folds; who want the graduates to succeed. That’s how you make a degree of difference. It takes a tribe to raise the graduates, to prepare them for a world of wonder, treasures and even threats.
“Spending time with these students is important. It’s more fulfilling to work with the students, it’s a way to pay back, to make sure they do better than we do. And it’s a fantastic way we can grow the presence of Newman in the community.”
For more information on the Navigator Alumni Mentor Program, contact Audry Hane at (316) 942-4291, ext. 2342 or [email protected].